Lead photo courtesy of Emily Eizen
Emily Eizen is a multimedia artist whose 420-tinted work spans painting, sculpture, photography, and design. Her oeuvre is interdisciplinary, but her MO ties it all together: “My message was, and still is, focused on showcasing the beauty and diversity of cannabis users and culture.” Can we get a hell yeah?
Her practice takes cues from classic ‘60s psychedelia while updating those aesthetic tropes for 2023 and beyond. This rings loud and clear through her dedication to showcasing queer and marginalized folks both inside her frames and outside ‘em, while still maintaining a vibrant, playful, pop attitude in all her various projects.
Outside the studio, Eizen contributes photos for publications we’re near and dear to, including High Times and Playboy, as well as serves as the Creative Director of alcohol-free beverage brand bonbuz.
Lucky for us, the talented artist made some time to indulge our questions about her relationship with the plant. Below, Eizen sounds off on her love of citrus-y strains, her dream to collaborate with Seth Rogen’s Houseplant, and the visual artists who’ve inspired her most over the years. Thanks, Emily!
What was your first time smoking weed like? How old were you and what was the context?
Emily Eizen: My first time smoking weed was in the bathroom of my college dorm room with my best friend and roommate. I was 18. It was honestly magical. It felt like my creativity as an artist finally made sense and I felt so connected to art, music, and everything beyond my essays in political science.
When it comes to consumption, what’s your day-to-day relationship with the plant like these days?
My relationship with the plant today is daily. Ideally, I would like to be smoking mostly at night, unless I need a little inspiration for my work. I have been one of those “all day every day” type stoners, but this new year I feel like I need to decrease my intake so that when I do smoke, it’s more special.
Do you have any favorite weed strains or farms? How do you like to consume ‘em? (Bong, joint, etc.)
I almost exclusively smoke joints. I don’t discriminate between strains, but have preferences based on mood/occasion. During the day or for creative and energetic purposes, I love a citrusy sativa like Tangie or Jack Herer. At night, any dessert-y indica is amazing.
Do you have any favorite weed products — any particular papers, grinders, or whatever?
I love my gloopy ashtray from Houseplant. It’s an amazing piece of art and a conversation piece. It is the only ashtray I have that actually keeps all the ash off of my vintage coffee table. My favorite papers are classic RAW papers or cones. If I’m feeling like it’s a special occasion, a hemp wrap blunt with a glass tip is my go-to.
How does cannabis influence your art practice? Do you consume prior to creating? Does it enhance or hinder any parts of your creative process?
In the beginning, cannabis was extremely important to my practice and often made a physical appearance in my work. My message was, and still is, focused on showcasing the beauty and diversity of cannabis users and culture. As I evolve as an artist and a person, I don’t need weed to make an actual appearance in my work. I’m more focused on creating editorial photography in the mainstream world, but I still use cannabis to inspire my concepts and ideas.
Do you have any favorite artists who speak to you specifically when you’re stoned? Sativa-inspired Stendhal Syndrome, so to speak.
I will forever cherish the works of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring as two queer men who used art to send a message, but also branded themselves extremely well and made art into a business. In terms of being faded and enjoying art, I just visited the Palm Springs Art Museum and saw very trippy works by an artist named Phillip K. Smith III. I’m inspired by his use of light and color.
Do you have any white whales or dream collaborators within the weed world — particular people or companies you’d love to work with on a custom project?
Houseplant, for sure. I think everything they make is so awesome. I would also love to work with any female celebrity venturing into the cannabis industry. I’ve seen lots of cannabis brands started by male celebs but not many women. Rico Nasty, I’m looking at you!
Do you like to do any particular activities after you’ve gotten stoned? (Could be anything! A hike, a restaurant, digging on eBay for x, etc.)
Hotboxing my car and going to the movies.
Can you recommend something to watch while stoned?
Across the Universe.
What do you like to listen to after smoking? Any albums, radio shows, or podcasts?
SZA’s new album is the perfect smoking and listening experience.
Can you recommend something to read after smoking?
Do you think weed is considered “cool” amongst young people right now? Why or why not?
I think cool is the wrong word, I think it’s definitely accepted as normal. What I have noticed, too, is a lot of young people being Cali sober or completely sober, or gravitating towards mushrooms to help with depression and anxiety.
Who’s in your dream blunt rotation? Dead or alive!
Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Andy Warhol, and Ilana Glazer
Any upcoming products, events, or projects you’d like to plug?
Keep an eye out for my solo art show coming this year!